Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2964: Vacation Rental Apartments, Second Floor Apartment
apartments in Dorsoduro, Venice
October 2006, 1 week
We loved the location in Calle Lunga San Barnaba. The neighborhood is quiet (except for church bells!) and not overwhelmed with tourists, but well-located for walking to major and not-so-major attractions. The apartment is two blocks from the Ca'Rezzonico vaporetto stop.
There's a Punto supermarket with a good selection of prepared foods in Campo Santa Margherita, and a Billa market on the Zattere, each just a few minutes' walk away. Also smaller alimentari in Campo Santa Margherita and Campo San Barnaba. We had excellent bread from Rizzo Pane a block away on Campo San Barnaba, and there's a wine shop a block or two down Calle Lunga in the other direction. We enjoyed buying vegetables from a boat in the canal (I forget the exact location, but it was between San Barnaba and Santa Margherita), and it was also fairly easy to walk to the big produce market at the Rialto.
There are many nice cafes in the area, particularly in Campo Santa Margherita (we especially liked the coffee at the one with a big red sign saying just "Caffe"), and plenty of restaurants. We had excellent seafood at Ai 4 Feri across the street from the apartment.
The apartment is on the top (second) floor of a small building, with a "garden" studio on the bottom floor and a one-bedroom on the first floor, all rented out by the same owner. It is an older building but not "historical."
The apartment itself has a combined living/dining area with a very small kitchen, a bathroom off of this area, and a bedroom up a spiral staircase. The stairs to the bedroom might be a bit of a challenge to someone with mobility issues (particularly if they have to make as many nighttime bathroom visits as some of us do!).
There was a roomy private terrace overlooking a garden, with views of trees and church towers. This was great both for lounging in the afternoons and for hanging out the laundry.
The decor wouldn't win any design awards, but the furniture was comfortable and functional. There was a smallish sofa, a good-sized round dining table with four chairs, and a small writing-desk and chair in the combined living/dining area. There's a TV and CD player/radio, though we didn't use them. The general feel of the apartment is lived-in, not shiny or new, but that suited us fine.
We found the bed quite comfortable -- especially when we put up the mosquito net that we found in the closet! The bedroom is small but fine for sleeping, with enough storage space for clothes. The bathroom was very clean. It was difficult to keep some water from the shower from spraying on the floor, but I've found this to be very common in Italy; there were plenty of towels available, so it was easy enough to wipe up any dampness.
The kitchen is really tiny but quite usable for cooking -- I prepared several meals there. There were plenty of dishes for the two of us. The refrigerator is a small under-the-counter model. Unlike in some rentals, there were quite a few pantry items stocked when we arrived -- oil, vinegar, garlic, coffee, sugar, etc. -- as well as handy things like foil and wax paper, so we didn't have to purchase everything.
Problems or Bonuses
We had a pretty good idea what to expect, based on an earlier SlowTrav review, the owner's website, and communication with the owner.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The owner was nice and easy to deal with; it was convenient that, because she lives most of the year in the US, we were able to pay by check in US dollars instead of wiring money overseas. We got a bit worried at one point when she accidentally sent us a confirmation of the wrong dates (got us mixed up with someone else), but everything was straightened out without any problems.
Giuseppe, the friend from the neighborhood who manages the apartments, was very nice and helpful; he came by to let us know when a vaporetto strike was announced, and we had a pleasant visit with him and his sweet dogs on our last night in Venice.
We paid $850 (dollars, not Euros) for seven nights, which we thought was a very good deal for Venice at this time of year.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
We would absolutely recommend the place to anyone looking for a homey (not elegant) stay in a real Venetian neighborhood.
Things to do in this area
It's a great neighborhood for wandering. See above for comments about cafes and restaurants. If you head out in one direction, you come to the Zattere, lovely for a sunset stroll; in another, you can quickly arrive at the Accademia (try stopping for a pastry at Pasticceria La Toletta on the way); in still another, you can pass through the Campo Santa Margherita or go further on toward Rialto and San Marco; or in the fourth direction, you get to the vaporetto, which will take you anywhere along the Grand Canal. I hope to stay in this neighborhood again!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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